Tom Hardy channeled his “Venom” energy onto the mat.
The Academy Award nominee and “Mad Max: Fury Road” alum competed in the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in Milton Keynes, England, where he won the gold prize. Hardy entered the match under his real name, Edward Hardy, and competed against martial arts veteran Danny Appleby in the tournament’s semi-final match.
A spokesperson for the tournament told The Guardian that Hardy was “very humble” and took photographs with fans. “Everyone recognized him,” the spokesperson said.
Hardy’s competitor Appleby was “shell-shocked” to learn he was fighting Hardy. Appleby added that Hardy told him to “just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do” during the competition.
Hardy, who played a former Marine turned mixed martial arts fighter in 2011 film “Warrior,” is a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He also won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton in August 2022, a tournament aimed at raising funds for military personnel, veterans, and emergency service workers. To note, Hardy is a trustee for REORG, a charity teaching jiu-jitsu to those with serious injuries, or who are suffering from PTSD and depression.
For the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship, Appleby said Hardy was “genuinely a really nice guy” and a “really strong” competitor.
“You wouldn’t think it with him being a celebrity. I’ve done about six tournaments and I’ve been on the podium in every one. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve had — he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure,” Appleby said, citing Hardy’s iconic role in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Hardy previously told The Guardian in 2011 that he prepared for “Warrior” by doing two hours of boxing per day, plus two hours of muay thai and two hours of jiu-jitsu, followed by two hours of fight choreography and two hours of weightlifting. Hardy kept the daily regime for three months.
And Hardy isn’t the only actor to try their hand at a new hobby: Brad Pitt debuted a sculpture exhibit at a Finnish art museum, and fellow “Batman” alum Robert Pattinson curated a Sotheby’s contemporary art exhibit to be auctioned off.